Everyday: Back in my Navy days in Italy, I kept on reading about this wine called Lacrima Christi (“Tears of Christ”). Unfortunately, the ones I found back in the late ’70s made me go “Jayzus, that sucks.” Not anymore. The De Angelis Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio Bianco 2o09 ($18) is refreshing and delicious, with minerally citrus flavors and just enough acidity. As the name indicates, the caprettone and falanghina grapes are grown near Mount Vesuvius. Try this crisp white with salads of all sorts, shrimp/squid/ceviche or this wonderful heirloom tomato with crispy shallots recipe from Alice Walters’ daughter.
Occasion: When we were fortunate enough to visit Bouchard and taste its glorious wines, our hostess said that the name of Bouchard Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus Premier Cru ($100) derived from something about Baby Jesus’ silk diapers. Being a rather coarse individual by nature, and having not spit much, I blurted out, “I actually think it’s because when they first drank it, someone said ‘Sweet Baby Jesus, this stuff is good.’ ” It teeters between being light and leathery, rustic and elegant, and it’s easy to see where they got the silk anecdote. The nose is extraordinarily complex, the finish sensuous and endless. Try it with, well, anything, but consider taking a stab at the nonpareil Zuni Cafe roast chicken with bread salad.